The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) reportedly searched the home of Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell in March as part of an investigation into claims he hacked and cyber-stalked a nonprofit arts group.
It is claimed that Powell interfered with computer accounts by blocking access to emails and other messages from contributors of Verge Center for the Arts — the non-profit Powell founded, according to a July 6 report from The New York Times, citing three people with knowledge on that matter.
The F.B.I. searched the home of the cryptocurrency executive Jesse Powell in March. https://t.co/NRnK99cts7
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) July 6, 2023
The trio informed The NYT that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California has been investigating Powell since “at least” September.
Electronic devices were reportedly seized from Powell’s home in Brentwood, Los Angeles as part of the search. However, it is understood that prosecutors have not accused Powell of any crimes.
Powell’s lawyer, Brandon Fox said the investigation mostly focused on allegations made by Verge Center for the Arts — the nonprofit Powell founded, and not anything to do with Powell’s involvement in the “cryptocurrency arena.” This was reportedly also confirmed by a Kraken spokesperson.
Fox also said that Powell “did nothing wrong.”
Cointelegraph reached out to Jesse Powell for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Powell reportedly founded the Sacramento-based arts group in 2007. However, his LinkedIn states that he’s worked as the founder and board member since April 2010.
Kraken was hit with enforcement action by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission in February for failing to register the offer and sale of their staking service program.
The firm reached a settlement with the securities regulator, paying a lofty $30 million fine.